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Good Life Garden -- Crops
Good Life Garden

Chard

Beta vulgaris
Late spring through winter

In Our Garden


Ruby red
The stalks of this variety are bright red, with crinkly green and red leaves. The greens have a mild flavor and the stalks are high in nutritional value.

Silverado
Extremely slow to bolt, Silverado chard has a long harvest window.

Bright lights
This variety is particularly exciting in that it yields a wide range of beautiful bright colors from red, gold, and white to pastels like pink and yellow.

In History

A member of the beet family, vitamin C-rich chard was chosen for its meaty stems, although ancient Romans cultivated the plant for its roots as well. The leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals with high levels of iron and magnesium.

Cultivation

Growing Tips:
A cool season crop, chard enjoys moisture rich free-draining soil and a sunny space with light shade.

Harvesting Tips:
Seeds sown in mid-spring are ready to harvest in mid summer. When harvesting chard use a sharp knife to avoid snapping leaves, as it can aggravate the roots. Choosing firm leaves, harvest outer leaves first working toward the center and cutting at the base of the plant. Regular harvesting promotes the development of new tasty leaves.

Why It's Good for You

In a mere 35 calories per cup, chard supplies a staggering 700% of vitamin K needs and a wealth of carotenes that protect your eyes from age-related loss of vision.

Let's Eat

How to Buy:
Choose chard with stiff ribs that is heavy for its size and not wilted or yellow. The leaves should also be a deep green color and have a crisp texture. Avoid purchasing chard that has been too tightly bound with wire or string as it can cause the vegetable to bruise.

How to Store:
Chard can be stored covered in the refrigerator for about a week and is also suitable for freezing.

How to Prepare:
Chard can be eaten rib and all. Because of their tougher more fibrous texture, the ribs should be chopped and cooked separately from the leaves. Sauté stems until they are just tender and then add the leaves to the pan to ensure even cooking.

 

Pest Management


Here is a list of common pests and diseases that may affect your chard in California. For more information follow the link provided to the University of California Integrated Pest Management website.
  • Beet leafhopper
    Their juice-sucking feeding habits can leave foliage mottles and yellow in appearance, but are relatively non-threatening to most plants. Leafhoppers are, however, good at spreading pathogens such as the curly top virus from one plant to another…
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  • Carrot weevil
    It can be difficult to pinpoint the vegetable weevil as both the adults and larvae are largely active at night. They do not fly, and this prevents damage from occurring rapidly…
    Click for more info.
  • Earwig
    Think twice before squashing an earwig. While it can be a menace to seedlings and perfectly ripe fruit they play an important role in managing other garden pests, and it can be tricky to tell the difference between which variety helps and which variety harms your garden. Click below to find out which variety chomps on your plants, and which one just plain stinks…
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  • Garden webworm
    These leaf-eaters are appropriately named. They are notorious for webbing leaves together for shelter as they feed on the foliage of a wide variety of garden vegetables.
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  • Leafminer
    These are the small larvae of flies and moths that feed beneath the surface of the leaf, leaving behind signature twisting trails visible to the eye. Though they rarely cause serious damage to fruits or roots, they can lower the quality of leafy vegetables such as spinach and chard…
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  • Mite
    These tiny bugs can be hard to detect, and may go not even be noticed until they have departed! They come in several varieties and are a common pest to a wide range of vegetables and fruits. They suck the liquid out of plant foliage, and often leave yellowing at the feeding site. Often, plants will recover once the mites have left…
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  • Spinach flea beetle
    This leaf-jumper is double-trouble. The adults mainly feed on foliage while the larvae feed on stems and roots of tubers, exposing the plant to fungal infection…
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  • Whiteflies
    The nymphs and adults extract juices from plant leaves, causing them to turn brown and curl. They prefer warm climates, and reproduce very quickly under appropriate weather conditions…
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  • Wireworms
    Particularly partial to rich organic soil, these immature click beetles feed on seedling roots and tubers. They do not tend to damage mature plants…
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  • Snails & Slugs
    These garden gastronomes have a notorious taste for succulent flowers, foliage and ripening fruit --- with such a refined taste, it’s no wonder they are so delectable bathed in garlic butter!
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